There are many reasons why a Yorkshire Terrier may want to eat grass, but the most popular reasons include a nutritional deficiency, a compulsive habit, underlying health conditions, or attention-seeking behavior.
In the following sections, we’ll be narrowing down why your Yorkie may be grazing the lawn, the consequences of allowing your pup to excessively eat grass, and teach you how to resolve their grass-hungry habits!
Table of Contents
- Is It True That Dogs Eat Grass For Upset Stomach?
- Is It Harmful For My Yorkie To Eat Grass?
- Does My Dog Eat Grass Due to Their Diet?
- Does My Dog Eat Grass Due to Underlying Health Conditions?
- So, If There’s No Particular Reason, Why Does My Yorkie Still Eat Grass?
- When Should I Step In?
- A Psychological Need: Is It Really?
Is It True That Dogs Eat Grass For Upset Stomach?
Many people have been told or believe that when a dog eats grass, they are attempting to relieve themselves from an upset stomach or digestive issues – especially when they hurriedly chow down as opposed to a gentle graze. The thought behind the theory is that pups do this to induce vomiting, which will expel whatever is causing tummy trouble.
One point that Veterinarian Malcolm Weir raised was whether or not dogs opt to mow down the grass to assist in soothing a tummyache and vomit as a result, or do they developt a tummyache and vomit as a result of eating the grass?
While we aren’t 100% sure why dogs choose to eat grass, studies show that fewer than 25% of pups vomit after eating grass, so it’s unlikely that they use this method as an ailment. However, if your turf-munching pup does show signs of tummy pain, they could have a more serious underlying health issue that should be ruled out before attempting any other methods to curb their cravings.
Is It Harmful For My Yorkie To Eat Grass?
As mentioned above, since Yorkies are more than likely not eating grass to alleviate any stomachaches, they are not likely munching on grass because they’re urgently ill. Less than 10% of dogs show signs of illness prior to eating grass, according to the American Kennel Club.
While eating grass isn’t detrimental for your Yorkshire Terrier, grass-grazing can lead to the development of intestinal parasites that are easily transferable from other animal droppings and other plants outside. The AKC also mentions that it is important to note that common herbicides and pesticides that could be sprayed on the lawn, sidewalks, or park fields could be harmful to your dogs.
Does My Dog Eat Grass Due to Their Diet?
Veterinarian Lynn Buzhardt indicates that it’s commonly believed that grass eating is a form of pica, or eating items that aren’t labeled as food, which is sometimes a result of a diet deficiency. Vitamins, nutrients, or minerals that are missing in a pup’s diet are a direct cause of diet deficiency, and it could be your dog’s way of communicating this.
For example, your Yorkie could be in need of more fiber, which the AKC says is essential in helping your furry friend pass gas and stools, plus assist in other bodily functions. Grass could be the only way your dog can indicate they need more fiber, or any other vitamin, nutrient, or mineral, for that matter.
Does My Dog Eat Grass Due to Underlying Health Conditions?
There is a possibility that your pup is eating grass as a coping mechanism for an underlying health condition. While there are many health factors that could come into play with your Yorkies’ grass-eating habits, it’s important to schedule a visit to your local veterinarian if you’re concerned.
Even if their only symptom is munching on grass, it’s great to rule out all health concerns and have peace of mind moving forward with a treatment plan for your pal. Your vet visit should include a check of vitals, a stool sample, and a blood count. This will help evaluate their overall health and rule out any infections or diseases.
So, If There’s No Particular Reason, Why Does My Yorkie Still Eat Grass?
If your Yorkshire Terriers diet is already complete and balanced as per your veterinarian’s approval, grazing grass might now be related to any deficiency or health issues at all. It could be a pure, canine instinct!
Dogs have evolved throughout the years to adapt to the lifestyle of domestication. Even though your Yorkies ancestors weren’t incorporating grass in their diet, they did receive a full and optimal diet by consuming entire animals.
Yorkies are omnivores, just like any other breed of dog, and it’s expected that they naturally crave the act of eating grass to reflect on their own genetic makeup, which is dated back to when they were able to hunt their own food in the wild.
Overall, your Yorkie may also simply enjoy the texture, taste, and act of chewing grass – especially when Spring arrives for the first time each year!
When Should I Step In?
Eating grass is definitely not the worst substance your dog could get into – in relation, always keep an eye on your pup around plants or other toxic greenery. However, if you notice that your Yorkie is eating grass much more frequently or in excess, be aware of any underlying illnesses that your pup is attempting to tell you about.
The main things to keep an eye out for are excessive vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, blood in stool, lack of energy, or excessive licking. If you feel your pet has consumed too much grass, make sure to keep them hydrated and monitor them for 8-12 hours.
A Psychological Need: Is It Really?
While we pet parents go about our lives leaving for work and returning home after 8 hours, we often forget that our pals anxiously wait for us at home every single day. This time away can cause separation anxiety and loneliness, ann grazing grass when alone can help these anxious thoughts subside.
Our dogs desire human interaction and Dr. Weir indicates they may try to get our attention through actions such as turf-nibbling if they’re feeling neglected. This applies to companion dogs, such as Yorkies, more so than other breeds.
So what can we do to help provide more comfort for our pets while we’re gone? It’s suggested to try incorporating a new toy or an item that has its owner’s scent on it during the day. Keeping them entertained while under supervision with puzzles or games is also a great way to get your Yorkies mind off of grass eating and back on being part of the pack!